The day after International Women’s Day
There is a war on. Yes. You definitely have heard about it. It has something (Read everything) to do with Russia. Yes, you know that too. So, what does it have to do with Women’s Day or the day after?
Some trivia first up. I learnt it exactly ten minutes back. Russia is reason why we celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March. It has to do with Russia not adopting the Gregorian calendar before the Russian Revolution. Read here.
Russia is not why I visited the United Nations website. Last week, I came across a twitter post which called the now trending hashtag #BreakTheBias as problematic and capitalistic. It turns out, #BreakTheBias is a IWD initiative.
“ Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality,” the IWD website says.
In case you still take the United Nations seriously (given the war times we live in), here is what United Nations had decided on as a theme for 2022.
“Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, it says.
None of the United Nations social media posts used the #BreakTheBias hashtag on 8th March. I have no great insight on the why and how of this capitalist hijack of a day dedicated to literally half of the global population. At best, I leave this as fodder for thought for you.
In happy news, and to capitalist dismay, there was one twitter bot which rose to the occasion. Meet the @paygapapp, a bot that responded to IWD’S call for action towards gender equality. The bot follows a simple rule. The rule is to quote tweet all Women’s Day tweets from British employers with their respective gender pay-gap data. Spoiler Alert: To say gaps exist is an under statement. Read more about the humans behind this bot here.
More about India and less about our former colonial masters, you say? I shall deliver.
I skimmed through some of the 9th March dateline India stories online from three leading publications- Indian Express, Times of India and Hindustan Times. The governor for West Bengal has accused TMC women legislators of misbehaving with him in assembly, says Hindustan Times. The Indian Express reported that the Kerala High Court has dismissed the plea of Malayalam actor Dileep seeking to suspend further probe into the 2017 abduction and sexual assault of a woman actor, in which he is one of the accused. According to the Times of India, women are proving to be better borrowers, read here. Phew. In further happy news, Nagaland govt has given a green signal for 33 per cent women reservation in civic bodies, Hindustan Times reports.
One last thing. If you are active on twitter, a viral video of a groom refusing to marry until his dowry demand is met, must have caught your attention and anger. The video is staged, here is Alt News report on it. The video is fake, but dowry deaths are real.
On 10th December, 2021, the Ministry of Women and Child Development informed the parliament of 6966 cases of Dowry Deaths registered during 2020. The same ministry also informed the Lok Sabha that 785 cases of child marriages were reported in the year 2020.
If any consolation, the ministry also claims there is no gender gap in our Covid-19 vaccination. Our lower female to male ratio, tallies with the lower female to male ratio in Covid-19 vaccination, the ministry suggests.
Here is the exact phrasing. “As per census 2011 data, the sex ratio for India is 943 females to 1000 males which translate to 48.5 per cent females in the country. Further, as per the vaccination coverage reported on Co-WIN as on 07.07.2021, women received 46.32% of the total vaccinations. The difference of approximately 2% between estimated proportion of females and proportion of vaccinations of females could be due to earlier guidelines which had mentioned pregnancy and lactation as contra-indications for COVID-19 vaccination”, informed the ministry.
Happy International Women’s Day is it?